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Rocket Competition: Chi-Hi Sets Sights High
Spirits are flying high in Chippewa County as a local school prepares for a national competition.

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Saturday the rocket club from Chi-Hi tested its rockets at Lake Wissota. The club is among about a handful of other teams across the state hoping to advance to the finals. The club has been around four years and has only been involved in state competitions, but this year it's setting its sights a bit higher.

Chi-Hi science teacher, Nick Gagnon, says "The goal is to launch 750 feet, with two eggs and to get it successfully land in 45 seconds."
In order to qualify for the "Team America Rocketry Challenge" finals, the team must place in the top 100. With nearly 700 teams competing nationwide, that could be difficult, but it's something team members think they can accomplish.

Chi-Hi senior, Ben Arneberg, says "Our goal first off, is to qualify and then take it from there. I think we've got a really good shot, because we've been in rocket club for at least two years and our instructor Mr. Gagnon is awesome, helps us, gives us a lot of tips and such."
Sponsors hope more students will show interest in math and science, and careers in aerospace. That's the path Ben Arneberg is heading down.
"I'm going to go into the Air Force Academy, so I might fly and possibly take that whole route, but I'm more likely a computer engineering route. So, it's possible someday I might be designing a rocket or having something to do with it."

The team has until the beginning of April to qualify for the competition, with the national finals in May in Virgina.

Updated: March 2, 2008, 7:18 pm

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